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Coffee Tengoku (天国) Hotcakes (ホットケーキ) and Kantaro the Sweet Tooth Salary Man

I’m back in Japan ! 🙂

But let’s rewind a bit, a couple of weeks ago I caught an advertisement for a Japanese TV show on Netflix, “Kantaro The Sweet Tooth Salaryman”.

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I’m in Travel + Leisure Mag (June 17)

Good news!…

I’m in Travel + Leisure June 2017.

A couple of months ago one of their researchers contacted me about Shenzhen photos. Last year I spent a day in Shenzhen’s contemporary art centre; OCT Loft. I really love the ‘former industrial building’ becomes ‘contemporary art centre’ thing.

I think re-purposed industrial buildings hold a certain artistic commentary on life and hence provide an interesting contextual background to contemporary art.

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Tate Modern and East London canal-side

Last year Tate Modern; a contemporary art gallery on London’s Southbank, expanded by building a new wing called the Switch House.

One of my favourite things about Tate Modern is the building. It’s a former power station. I think that re-purposing industrial spaces provides a beautiful environment art while also preserving Engineering history.

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Portable loft, Yangjae Citizens Forest, Seoul and ‘Fish in the Pool’

I found the cutest local cafe in Seoul with the friendliest owners.

It’s called Portable Loft. They also have a craft / design store – Portable Lollipop.

You can see some pictures of Portable Loft, the owners and their friends here http://blog.naver.com/jungurion/220896163629.

And the Portable Lollipop website is http://www.portablelollipop.com/

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Happy Christmas 2016 from London – XMAS Day Photowalk

Happy Christmas to everyone here on WordPress and any others that have found their way to my blog.

Today I want to share a handful of pictures from my Christmas Day photowalk around London. Without further ado:

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Christmas in London 2016

Five days left until Christmas, I think it might be time to inject a little festive cheer into my blog.

Last year I spent Christmas in London, I had a fantastic time taking photos and enjoying the quieter than normal city.  A lot of people leave; presumably to visit family or take the opportunity for a short break. This coupled with the beautiful lights make it a magical place to be.

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Seoul – Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park

Another good spot to check out in Seoul is Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park with beautiful views across the city.

It’s near to Hunsung University so there are a lot of cafe and cheap food options. It’s also a short walk from both Changgyeonggung and Changdeokgung.

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Reflecting on the foggy Tay

Last night I was the lucky recipient of a lovely Christmas meal at The View restaurant in Newport-on-Tay, just opposite Dundee (Scotland). My mum kindly treated me and her husband.

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Lochs, bothies and blue skies.

I was in the Cairngorms earlier today; a big national park in the highlands of Scotland. It was a beautiful and I’d love to share some pictures with you.

If you are unfamiliar with Scotland I’ll reveal the mystery of what a Bothy is!

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Dongdaemun Art & Cultural Centre

Continuing on from my last post about a set of stairs at Dongdaemun Art & Cultural Centre in Seoul, South Korea I was also impressed by the main walkway from the street to the museum and design halls.

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Stairs – a study, Dongdaemun, Seoul

There is relatively modern design plaza in the centre of Seoul. I decided to take a few photographs as the architecture is quite unusual.

This post is about one set of stairs.

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Changdeokgung, Seoul, South Korea

I’m in Seoul, Korea now! I hopped on a plane and came to Seoul to see a friend. I’ve been travelling about 8 weeks now and I felt like I could really do with seeing a familiar face. I’ve also been dreaming about Korean Chicken and Beer for about a year.

This is my second trip to Seoul. On my first trip I went to one of the Royal Palaces; Gyeongbokgung – it was so beautiful. So on this trip one of my first stops was Changdeokgung; another royal palace, that happens to be a UNESCO heritage site.

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OCT Loft (Shenzhen Contemporary Art Centre)

I went to OCT Loft in Shenzhen yesterday. It’s a contemporary art centre in a former industrial complex. The look and feel of OCT Loft reminded me of Moganshan 50 (M50) in Shanghai, I posted some pictures about my trip there last year.

I only had a little time so I didn’t go inside many places; but I am definitely going to go back, in the meantime I can share some pictures of the complex and exhibition hall A:

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Hong Kong and 2 photos, 2 years apart.

I came back to Hong Kong. The last time I was here was early 2014.

When I was here last time I took this picture from Kowloon of a Junk passing by. That’s Hong Kong Island in the background.

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In awe at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA)

Today; while recovering from sunburn, I headed out to the small but well organised Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei.

Free from the crowds of the national palace museum and other ‘rainy day’ locations it was a short, but enjoyable visit.

There were three major artist exhibits. I loved one of them. From the other two I strongly disliked one and for the other I liked the ‘synopsis’ describing the work, but I didn’t like or ‘get’ the work itself.

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Dànshuǐ / Tamsui, Taiwan; blue skies and fishing boats

I took a trip to Dànshuǐ just north of Taipei on Wednesday. The weather was beautiful.

Let’s take a look starting with the view back towards the north of Taipei. This is from a waterside park / promenade just next to the MTR station (Taipai Subway/Overground).

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Taipei street food

I’ve been making the rounds of the Taipei street food scene. It’s cheap, delicious, but some dishes are pretty unhealthy!

1st stop Shilin night market. Where I tried the famous ‘stinky tofu’; shown on the left below. The tofu is fermented and has a very strong ‘stinky’ smell, but the taste is not too strong. Fermented foods are great for digestion so I was excited to try it.

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Drumming is tiring!

On my recent visit to Taipei Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Bao’an Temple I saw some Taiwanese people practising drumming in a park.

It was a hot day in Taipei. I love travelling in Asia, but long walks in summer can be tough. I can relate to how this boy must have been feeling.

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Happy birthday Confucius

September 28th marks the anniversary of Confucius’ birthday. I think Confucius must be one of the most recognisable historical names. Do you know a lot about him? My knowledge was limited to some sayings of the form, “Confucous says……” On Sunday I went along to take a look at the Confucius temple in Taipei.

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Hello Taipei

I’ve had three days in Taipei. I’m feeling good about this city; it has positive vibe. Today I went for a walk along Dihau Street. It’s a fairly traditional area with a lot of shops selling things like tea and herbal medicine.

There are some vibrant, busy scenes. But even in amongst those you can catch people taking a rest from the hot afternoon sun. Check out the guy in the truck cab.

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Ford Ranchero, reading manga, and Nakano sights

I snapped a few nice shots around Tokyo in the last few days. I spotted another sweet classic parked up in Harajuku. This is a Ford Ranchero, it’s the first time I saw one in real life, I think it’s the slightly less popular competitor to the El Camino. This one looks awesome in gloss black.

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A short trip to Asakusa

Today was a chill day. I didn’t have any exercise scheduled. My main plan was to study some Japanese and graphic design and to head over to Asakusa and maybe take a few photos.

To be honest, the day was a bit of a fail, I couldn’t concentrate at all and it was way too hot to walk around taking photos for a long time.

However, I did take a few shots in Asakusa. The area is famous for Sensoji 浅草寺 – it’s a temple complex that many people visit. There are a lot of shops selling traditional japanese products. There are also a lot of traditional restaurants.

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Sendagaya Jeep

The highlight of the day was a classic jeep spotted in Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷), Tokyo (東京)

I saw this on the way from the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym to Omotesando. The metropolitan gym has a training room, pool and finess studio available for public use for 600 yen per session. It’s great for visitors who don’t want the hassle of a membership.

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Hakka No Togame・白霞罸

My blog name may sound strange in English. The reason is it comes from Japanese. It has a special significance to me which involves an ex girlfriend, travel across the world and around one hundred and thirty hours of TV.

The Japanese Kanji for hakka no togame is 白霞罸.

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Christmas in London – part II

I survived Christmas alone in London.

Actually; and I feel guilty saying this, it was delightful.

I missed my mum; it is a time when everyone is talking about family. However thanks to yoga, meditation, reading and learning I was able to keep a reasonable perspective. It’s just another day, I saw my mum recently, and I will see her again soon. The other matter; a girlfriend, hopefully I will meet someone I match with soon.

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Christmas in London

Too busy to write. Just over 4 weeks ago I started a new contract. Despite quite a bit of experience I still feel nervous at a new client. That’s my excuse for not posting on my blog.

But I want to write. I want to post. I miss it.

I hadn’t taken any photos in 4/5 weeks. I was starting to feel as though losing myself. I finally woke up and took my camera out on Saturday, the thought in mind; get some Christmassy photos.

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Walk around Shoreditch

I’d love to take you on a ‘blog photo walk’ around Shoreditch; my favourite parts of East London.

Historically a poor area, with low rents it became a hub for creatives. As can happen the art scene attracted others, prices started to rise and some have been priced out. But, to my mind, it now has a good mix of artists and creature comforts; good apartments, cafes, bars, restaurants, independent galleries and fashion stores.

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Moganshan 50 Shanghai (M50)

I had a dream-like three weeks in shanghai earlier this year. I want to introduce you to m50; the contemperary art district.

Shanghai itself is a bit of an enigma, it’s China of course; but also very much it’s own place. The history is fascinating and provides background perspective on the modern day relationship between east and west. Shanghai also has it’s own dialect and other Chinese people may consider the Shanghainese as overly proud.

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Tokyo rail

Clean, shiny steel and birdsong soft and sweet. A place full of people, some fast asleep, where could I be?

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Autumn is here

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons of the year. After the (sometimes) hot summer days I enjoy a return to crisp fresh air. The parks can be particularly beautiful. Many of the trees turn from green to yellow and brown; and countless other shades.